Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A New Relationship

            It wasn’t mine to begin with.  It was left in the Temple kitchen by daughter who received it as a present and couldn’t take care of it.  It did not flourish under my rather haphazard care.  In fact, I almost killed it. 
But a friend took it home with her, nursed it back to health and returned the orchid to me.  A lot of fuss for a house-plant, if you ask me.  While I am an enthusiastic outdoor gardener, I have a strong bias for vegetation that takes care of itself (e.g. hosta versus roses.)  The only indoor plants that survive my care are the ones that thrive in conditions of extreme negligence.
            But I am determined to do better this time.  So I actually read the instructions on “zygopetalum culture” my friend printed out for me.  They begin with the assertion that these orchids have been ‘successfully grown’ for more than 100 years.  Then, after mentioning the ‘ease of cultivation,’ the missive continues with detailed recommendations about light, temperature and humidity, air movement, watering, and fertilization.
            I began to lose faith at the end of the first paragraph when it cautioned: “all aspects of culture are interrelated and must be considered as the group of requirements.”  I read this to mean that if I get one of the variables wrong, the orchid dies.  But it was the detailed watering instructions that pushed me over the edge.  “Zybopetalum never want to dry out, nor do they appreciate constantly wet medium.”  So that means I have to figure out when it needs water before it gets dry but after it ceases being wet.  How am I supposed to do this?
            Nonetheless, I have decided to try a make a relationship with this exotic plant anyway.  After all, I’m kind of fussy too.  I need food and water and exercise and work that keeps me engaged.  I need to be talked to and touched and appreciated on a regular basis.  But too much of any of these things is not good and mostly, I just expect others to know what I want and need.  So I guess we have a lot in common.
I’ve named her ‘Zygo’ and she already has buds. 
I’m trying to set small goals for our relationship.  My first one is to keep her alive till the blossoms come.  If we make it that far, who knows what will be possible for us. 

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